CHKDSK and Mirrored Drives

2,015 pts.
Tags:
CHKDSK
Microsoft Windows
Mirrored Drives
The following came up in a conversation today, and, it appears, that my Google-foo has gone on vacation. The question that was raised was how does CHKDSK handle mirrored drives? Does it just check the active drive, or both the active and passive drive? I am inclined to think that it only checks the active drive, being unaware that there is a passive drive. If this is the case, how would one do the occasional check of the passive drive for bad sectors, which could impinge upon the performance of the drive set?
ASKED: March 31, 2009  6:28 PM
UPDATED: May 17, 2012  7:30 PM

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CHKDSK doesn’t actually check the disk. It checks the volume which is carved out of a logical disk which is presented to windows. In the case of a mirror it would only check for bad sectors on the active disk, assuming that the RAID controller only allows for reads from one of the disks in the morrir.

If the RAID controller allows for reads from both disks in the mirror then all bets are off. When working with arrays it is better to use the array controller (or SAN) to check for bad sectors as the controller has access to the physical disks and can check them one at a time.

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  • JennyMack
    Denny - Thank you for clarifying the purpose of the CHKDSK utility. Definitely cleaned up my understanding. Jenny
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  • VersatileSystems
    My experience has been when running chkdsk on a bad disk in a mirrored array. chkdsk detected bad sectors on the faulty disk and tried to repair them automatically. In doing so it corrupted the good disk which did not have bad sectors because of the mirroring. I would highly suggest disabling mirroring when running chkdisk with the repair option enabled.
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